Brazil (II)

The last section in Epitaph of a Small Winner by Machado de Assis. (Read the first section here.)

Between Quincas Borba's death and my own, there occurred the events narrated at the beginning of the book. Chief among them was the invention of the Braz Cubas Plaster, which died with me. Divine plaster, you would have given me first place among men, above the learned and the wealthy, because you were a genuine inspiration direct from heaven. Chance determined the contrary; and so, my friends, you will remain eternally melancholy.
This last chapter consists wholly of negatives. I did not achieve celebrity, I did not become a minister of state, I did not really become a caliph, I did not marry. At the same time, however, I had the good fortune of not having to earn my bread by the sweat of my brow. Moreover, I did not suffer a death like Dona Placida's nor did I lose my mind like Quincas Borba. Adding up and balancing all these items, a person will conclude that my accounts showed neither a surplus nor a deficit and consequently that I died quits with life. And he will conclude false; for, upon arriving on this other side of the mystery, I found that I had a small surplus, which provides the final negative of this chapter of negatives: I had no progeny, I transmitted to no one the legacy of our misery.